Appreciation vs. Appropriation

Appreciation vs. Appropriation

The conversation over cultural appropriation is necessary, long in coming, and deeply fraught. By their nature artists, including writers, absorb and incorporate many things into their work. Groups and cultures do this, too. Journalist Nadra Kareem Nittle notes that...
July newsletter

July newsletter

I spent June completing revisions on Book II, tentatively scheduled for next year. My days started early (5 am) and often ended quite late, a marathon of character development, pacing adjustments, and plot connections. I immersed myself so deeply in my story that I...
Serious in Seoul

Serious in Seoul

When I learned that I had been accepted to a month-long writing residency at Seoul Arts Center-Yeonhui, I prepared by learning as much as I could about the city and South Korea. What I couldn’t prepare for was meeting one of the world’s most interesting and prolific...
“Lost” in middle-grade awesomeness

“Lost” in middle-grade awesomeness

Tod Olson’s “Lost” series of real-life tales of people fighting their way back from almost certain disaster is catnip to young and old readers alike. If, like me, you are a sucker for a good Arctic (or Antarctic), ocean, or deep-in-space tale, these are wonderful...
Conversation with Tall Poppies

Conversation with Tall Poppies

When Kelly Harms pinged me on Facebook to take part in a conversation about The Bond, my YA fantasy, I admit I had FEELINGS. Number one, Kelly is a well-published, best-selling writer who gets rave reviews. Need more? She’s also one of the driving forces behind the...
Letters to a King

Letters to a King

Mexico recently sent a letter to the Spanish king requesting an apology for atrocities committed during the Conquest five centuries ago. Spain quickly dismissed the letter as an attempt to judge the past by modern mores. One outraged pundit wrote, “You cannot judge...
Fear-mongering with caravans

Fear-mongering with caravans

Every morning, Merriam-Webster sends a word to my email inbox along with its definition and history. Some words are worthy of a college test. Recently, I learned that “crapulous” means the feeling after overindulging in alcohol, not — well, not that other thing....
The Bond in video

The Bond in video

Since The Bond launch was delayed by snow, I made a trailer of some images that inspire me and my reading of the beginning of the story. Check it out and let me know what you...
Hush, hush sweet Charlotte

Hush, hush sweet Charlotte

The click was ominous. Parked between Geer Street Garden and Motorco, my daughter’s blue Ford Focus wagon refused to start. I’d given her the car as a college graduation present, fulfilling a family tradition of passing down beaters. Hoopties. Wrecks. Clunkers. Heaps....